Kaufman, Roni. “Peace as Opportunity for Social Justice: Establishment of New Social Change Organizations in Israel in the Wake of the Oslo Peace Accords.” International Social Work (early view; online first).
The social work profession is committed to the promotion of peace and social justice. It is often assumed that peacetime enables diverting resources and attention to the promotion of disadvantaged groups. However, little is known about the mechanisms. This study of the Israeli experience following the Oslo Peace Accords suggests that one potential mechanism is the development of social change organizations (SCOs) in the wake of peace. Findings indicate growth in SCO establishment in the periphery and small towns, in vulnerable groups, and in the Israeli Palestinian (Arab) citizen minority group. Implications for social work are suggested.
Arar, Khalid, Kadir Beycioglu, and Izhar Oplatka. “A Cross-Cultural Analysis of Educational Leadership for Social Justice in Israel and Turkey: Meanings, Actions and Contexts.” Compare (early view; online first).
The research compares principals in Israel (Jewish and Arab) and Turkey and how they perceive and practice their role in promoting social justice (SJ) in their schools in order to bridge socioeconomic and pedagogic gaps. It poses three questions: (1) How do Turkish and Israeli SJ leaders make sense of SJ? (2) What do SJ leaders do in both countries similarly and differently? (3) What factors facilitate or hinder the work of SJ in both countries? The qualitative study employed in-depth semi-structured interviews to collect the narratives of 11 school principals in Turkey and Israel. A comparative, holistic analysis was employed to identify the principals’ perceptions and daily practice of SJ in their schools. The principals reported different sociocultural, national and personal trajectories that shaped their perceptions of SJ, and described strategies used to promote SJ in their daily scholastic policies, processes and practices that meet the school stakeholders’ backgrounds and needs.
The research aimed to understand the way in which high school principals’ perceptions of social justice (SJ) are implemented in their daily educational work. A qualitative study employed in-depth semi-structured interviews to collect the narratives of two high school principals in Israel – one Arab-Muslim and one Jewish. The interview transcripts underwent comparative holistic analysis to identify their perceptions and daily practice of SJ in their schools. Findings indicated that the principals’ perceptions of SJ were coloured by their national and cultural context, yet they needed strong conviction to integrate these perceptions in their schools, and their efforts to do so were often beset by resistance.
This article analyzes the role of the media during the 2011 social protests in Israel, in order to examine why the “Social Justice” protest proved more effective than any other social protest organized previously in Israel. Scholars have shown that media framing has a powerful effect on citizen perception and policy debates. The social protests focused on the political-social-economic policy based on a neo-liberal ideology. They signified the beginnings of resistance to the system and became the focus of public and media identification via reports published by leading Israeli newspapers: Yedioth Ahronoth and Israel Hayom. Using content analysis, the author explore how the media plays an important role to shape the public perception of how to think and act about the protest. Due to the results, we evident the expand media capacity and influence, and that these effects are mediated in presenting positive and supportive coverage, including connotations and metaphors expressed by means of familiar slogans and events in the collective memory of Israeli society. Additionally, the expression “social justice” that became the protest’s slogan, offered a broad common basis with which each citizen could identify, including journalists.
Ben-Moshe, Liat. “Movements at War? Disability and Anti-Occupation Activism in Israel.” In Occupying Disability. Critical Approaches to Community, Justice, and Decolonizing Disability (ed. Pamela Block et al.; Dordrecht and New York: Springer, 2016): 47-61.
At the time of the first major disability protest in Israel in 1999 and then in 2000-2001, there were already many anti-occupation and peace organizations at play in Israel/Palestine. While participating in this budding disability movement, I began reflecting on my experiences of simultaneously being an Israeli anti-occupation activist and disabled activist publically fighting for the first time for disability rights. In the summer of 2006 I conducted research in Israel, trying to assess any changes that occurred since 2000 in the connections between the movements and within the disability movement itself. And then the war on Lebanon began. My intention in writing this chapter is to highlight the connections between disability activism and anti-war and anti-occupation activism, which seems to be at war with one another but in fact intersect in important ways. I hope this narrative and analysis will be useful for material resistance as well as a reflection on our current states of exclusion in activism and scholarship.
Nobody Home: Writing, Buddhism, and Living in Places / Human Nature & Jewish Thought / Jews and Genes: The Genetic Future in Contemporary Jewish Thought / Balancing on a Planet: The Future of Food and Agriculture / The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible / Capitalism: A Ghost Story/Restoring the Soul of the World: Our Living Bond with Nature’s Intelligence / Nobody Home: Writing, Buddhism, and Living in Places / Human Nature & Jewish Thought / Jews and Genes: The Genetic Future in Contemporary Jewish Thought / Balancing on a Planet: The Future of Food and Agriculture / The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible / Capitalism: A Ghost Story/Restoring the Soul of the World: Our Living Bond with Nature’s Intelligence / Nobody Home: Writing, Buddhism, and Living in Places / Human Nature & Jewish Thought / Jews and Genes: The Genetic Future in Contemporary Jewish Thought / Balancing on a Planet: The Future of Food and Agriculture / The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible / Capitalism: A Ghost Story/Restoring the Soul of the World: Our Living Bond with Nature’s Intelligence / Nobody Home: Writing, Buddhism, and Living in Places / Human Nature & Jewish Thought / Jews and Genes: The Genetic Future in Contemporary Jewish Thought / Balancing on a Planet: The Future of Food and Agriculture / The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible / Capitalism: A Ghost Story/Restoring the Soul of the World: Our Living Bond with Nature’s Intelligence
Lapidot-Lefler, Noam, Victor J. Friedman, Daniella Arieli, Noha Haj, Israel Sykes, and Nasreen Kais. “Social Space and Field as Constructs for Evaluating Social Inclusion.” New Directions for Evaluation 146 (2015): 33-43.
This paper addresses the role of evaluation in promoting social inclusion, an important component of social justice, with a focus on exclusion resulting from physical disability. We argue that the evaluation of social exclusion and social inclusion requires evaluators not only to reconsider their role and methods, but also to revise the fundamental constructs through which they study how programs and other interventions generate change at the individual, group, community, and societal levels. Drawing on field theory, we suggest that social inclusion processes can be understood and assessed in terms of the expansion of individuals’ life space, which consists of social, political, cultural, and resource dimensions. The paper illustrates these constructs with data from a participative action evaluation of a pilot program for providing services to people with disabilities in Israel. Our aim in developing these constructs is to provide not only tools for assessment, but also ways of thinking that may enable socially excluded people to be more active agents of inclusion.
Schejter, Amit and Noam Tirosh. “‘What Is Wrong Cannot Be Made Right’? Why Has Media Reform Been Sidelined in the Debate Over ‘Social Justice’ in Israel?” Critical Studies in Media Communication 32.1 (2015): 16-32.
When hundreds of thousands of Israelis took to the streets in the summer of 2011, protesting the high cost of living and demanding “social justice,” the ills of the media system including its concentration, the growing digital divide, and the implosion of public broadcasting were not made part of the social movement’s agenda. This study employs a justice-based theory for media, analyzing three types of “products” of the social movement: the unionization of media workers, the establishment of alternative media, and the reports recommending regulatory/institutional reform. We attempt to understand why media reform, an essential element without which social justice cannot be fully achieved, has been sidelined in the debate over the ways to achieve “social justice” in Israel.
Filc, Dani, Nadav Davidovitch and Nora Gottlieb. “Beyond ‘New Humanitarianism’: Physicians for Human Rights–Israel’s Mobile Clinic and Open Clinic on the Interface of Social Justice, Human Rights and Medical Relief.” Journal of Human Rights Practice 7.1 (2015): 88-108.
The present article examines two projects of Physicians for Human Rights–Israel (PHR–IL)—a clinic in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and a clinic for undocumented migrant workers and asylum seekers—in order to examine the tensions between medical humanitarian aid, human rights advocacy and egalitarian political activism. Through the examination of PHR–IL the article argues that it is possible to create a hierarchical synergism between those three modes.
This paper offers a qualitative empirical examination of the noncompliance of Israeli female welfare recipients with welfare laws and authorities. The paper demonstrates that their behavior, defined as “welfare fraud” by the law, is a limited form of collective resistance to the Israeli welfare state. Although the acts of welfare fraud that the women in my study engaged in entail a political claim against the state, the relationship between these acts and notions of collectivity is very constricted in form. The women’s collectivity is shown to be constrained by the welfare authorities’ invasive and pervasive investigation practices and methods. Due to fear of disclosure to the authorities, the women emerged as deliberately isolating themselves from their immediate environment and potential members of their like-situated collective. This weakens the connection between the women’s acts of resistance and their collectivity, and prevents their acts of resistance from driving social change, trapping them in their harsh conditions and existence.
Equating bureaucratic entanglements with pain—or what, arguably, can be seen as torture—might seem strange. But for single Mizrahi welfare mothers in Israel, somatization of bureaucratic logic as physical pain precludes the agency of identity politics. This essay elaborates on Don Handelman’s scholarship on bureaucratic logic as divine cosmology and posits that Israel’s bureaucracy is based on a theological essence that amalgamates gender and race. The essay employs a world anthropologies’ theoretical toolkit to represent bureaucratic torture in multiple narrative modes, including anger, irony, and humor, as a counterexample to dominant U.S.–U.K. formulae for writing and theorizing culture.
To understand the spread of the Arab spring among different Arab countries and to the movement for social justice in Israel in the following summer, the concept of collective action frames is much more useful than the flawed concept of cognitive liberation. Unlike the latter which conflates analytically distinct processes and ignores the crucial process of negotiating a collective identity, the concept of collective action frames distinguishes the components and problematizes the connection among them. The injustice component is crucial for integrating all three into a coherent collective action frame.
The Institute for Israel & Jewish Studies at Columbia University will be hosting “An Evening on the Israeli Economy” on Monday, September 26, at 8:00pm in 501 Schermerhorn Hall. The event will feature:
Former Deputy Governor, Bank of Israel
Professor of Economics, Tel Aviv University and IDC Herzelia
From the Financial Crisis to the Social Crisis
Professor of Economics, Hebrew University in Jerusalem